Firm recommended to survey community on school calendar
Updated: July 8, 2012 6:35PM
The Hinsdale High School District 86 superintendent is recommending the district hire an outside firm to survey the high school community about its school calendar and other aspects of high school.
Superintendent Nicholas Wahl recommended the district hire Beaird Group of Naperville, for a price not to exceed $10,000. The School Board will vote on the proposal at its next regular meeting, June 18.
Beaird would be assigned to write the survey questions, manage the survey process and analyze and report the results.
In it proposal, Beaird offers to meet with school leaders to determine the appropriate “stakeholder” community, which will include students, parents, teachers and district administrators. These discussions would help determine the content and scope of the survey, which would be conducted online.
Beaird’s proposed doing the survey work for between $6,000 and $14,000. The price varies depending on the extent of analysis and reports the district wants. Beaird has done surveys for Elgin U-46 and East Aurora District 131, and a calendar survey specifically for Naperville District 203.
Wahl said he recommends Beaird of the three firms that submitted proposals for the job because it has experience with the scope of work the district needs and “their price point was a better match. They gave different options.” Wahl expects the survey would be done in the fall.
Some of the School Board members questioned the cost.
“That’s a lot of money to spend,” if all the survey will determine is whether exams should be given before or after winter break, DeeDee Gorgol said.
Wahl said the primary focus would be to poll the community on that question, because the timing of first semester final exams appears to contribute to student stress. But he also wants insight on other ways to improve the social-emotional learning aspect of the students’ education.
“We are interested in, can we reduce the stress of our students,” Wahl said. The discussions that have already taken place at board meetings and community forums have opened the eyes of faculty and staff, Wahl said.
Gorgol hopes the survey would provide “more input on a solution to the problem.”
Wahl said he is not considering any changes that would lower “the high-functioning curriculum and rigorous standards that District 86 represents.”
“As I said at all the forums, no one is in a hurry” to change the schedule, Wahl said, “and what we’re doing is not broken.”